Salads are a delicious way to get your quota of healthy food: they contain nutrient-rich greens, veggies, and fruits and offer lots of variety as you mix and match your ingredients. Creating your own healthy salad bar at home offers the convenience of a restaurant without the price and allows you to control the quality of the foods. It’s easy to prepare enough fruits and veggies for up to five days of salads:
- Greens: chop or tear romaine or green or red lettuce into bite-sized pieces, rinse, spin dry in a salad spinner, and store in a large covered plastic bin. Add fresh herbs and specialty greens like arugula and microgreens. Add a paper towel or two to the bin to absorb moisture.
- Celery: slice and rinse, then store covered in water in a covered container. Change the water daily.
- Carrots: shred or buy packaged shredded carrots, rinse, and stored covered in water in a covered container. Change the water daily.
- Cukes and tomatoes: slice or chop and store in a covered container.
- Fruit: buy large containers of prepared fruit in the produce section of your local supermarket and create your own mix. Popular prepackaged fruits include pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, watermelon, and cantaloupe.
- Pickles, olives: store in their own containers or transfer to stackable containers.
- Eggs, cheese, deli meats: slice and store in covered containers.
- Salad dressings: keep at least three on hand to allow yourself some variety.
- Crackers, pretzels, nuts, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, cherries, raisins.
Add fun and unusual items to spice up the fare: marinated, sautéed tempeh or tofu, cold sesame noodles, tuna or chicken salad, coleslaw, beans.
If you store perishables such as fruits, veggies, salad dressings, eggs, cheese, meats, and bottles of salad dressing in stackable square or rectangular containers, you can pile them all in the same place in the fridge. You can also store crackers, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit in containers in a single basket in the kitchen; that way, when it’s time for a salad, you’ve got access to everything you need in a couple moves.